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Lightning Round: July 2019

By Featured, SAIC

Photograph by Lid Madrid.

Faviola Anaya Esquivel | Fashion, Sculpture, Fiber & Material Studies; BFA 2021

What are you looking forward to this summer?

Continuing my internship, but also working on personal work. I have a lot of ideas, it’s just a matter of executing them in the next month and a half. I might go to New York. It’s a tradition with my sister, who lives there. Seeing her, but I also love seeing the new MET exhibition each year. The theme this year is “Camp,” and it’s about the extravagant.

What motivates you to wake up every day?

I have to get somewhere! Also, I have responsibilities! [laughs] Besides that, there’s a drive to make something or see the outside again … It’s a very strange question. You don’t really think about it. 

Do you believe in life beyond Earth? If so, do you think aliens can make art?

Yes. From being in art school, it’s kind of like, “Anything can be art if you look at it through this lens.” [laughs] Can aliens make art? Yeah, it’s not exclusive to humans. Someone argued that animals can make art. She gave an example of an elephant painting. You could argue that nature itself is a work of art?

What are your thoughts on artificial intelligence? Would you attend a robot’s art show? Would you financially support art made by a robot?

It’s interesting but at the same time it’s scary to know that we’re engineering things to have thought and initiative. I would pay to see it if I knew where the money was going. There have already been collaborations and exhibitions where the work is very robotic. It’d be great if I knew the money was going to some fund or to the museum.

Photograph by Lid Madrid.

Sofiia Slynko | Fashion; BFA 2020

What are you looking forward to this summer?

It’s a great time to catch up with stuff I couldn’t do this semester. I’ve been going out more, building my website, and doing a photoshoot with my fashion pieces. I’m trying to collect everything so I have it in good state to apply for internships and jobs. Also, change of scenery is important. I’m from Ukraine, so I might be going home to see family friends and get inspired. Going back home might be a good reminder of what mental state I was in when I was a kid. 

What motivates you to wake up every day?

Before bed I think of what I’m gonna do the next day, and I wake up and have a plan in my head. Having long-term goals definitely motivates me.

Do you believe in life beyond Earth? If so, do you think aliens can make art?

I don’t. I’m not convinced.

What are your thoughts on artificial intelligence? Would you attend a robot’s art show? Would you financially support art made by a robot?

I don’t think even the most advanced ones will completely imitate the human brain. The human brain is so powerful — I don’t think anything programmed can imitate it. It is still art even though there’s no human emotions involved. I don’t think it’s important who creates art, just the idea behind it and how people perceive it. I would purchase art made by robots, if I liked it.

Photograph by Lid Madrid.

Yashua (Yash) Butler | Sound, Graphic Design; BFA 2021

What are you looking forward to this summer?

This summer, I’m dropping a mixtape, so I’m looking forward to that. I’m looking forward to finishing this class that I’m taking. And I’m looking forward to my birthday (July 23rd).

What motivates you to wake up every day?

Truthfully, I wanna be better than I was the day before. I wanna do a lot of things, and the only way I could do those things is if I wake up and keep doing them.

Do you believe in life beyond Earth? If so, do you think aliens can make art?

I think there’s other life out there. It’s too many planets, too many solar systems for there to not be life. I think anybody with enough time is gonna make art. So if they got the time on their planet to make art, they probably will. Unless it’s some super militarized planet or something and they’re plotting on Earth and trying to kill us.

What are your thoughts on artificial intelligence? Would you attend a robot’s art show? Would you financially support art made by a robot?

I’ve been watching a lot of sci-fi shows lately so I’m kinda scared. I think artificial intelligence shouldn’t be taken lightly. I’d attend a robot’s art show just to see what things who aren’t supposed to have their own separate consciousnesses would make. Is it a bunch of lines? I don’t know, I’d like to see it. Would I financially support it? No. I cannot. I’m sorry. I’m scared of robots right now — I think they’re gonna take over. If I wanna buy their work, sure — if I liked it — but I would not invest in the robot technology.

Photograph by Lid Madrid.

Nicholas Zepeda | Painting & Drawing; BFA 2021

What are you looking forward to this summer?

I work in the admissions office full-time and I just got done with a lot of things from the spring semester. I’m moving next year which should be good. I’m excited for that. I’m working on — here’s an SAIC thing — a show to pitch to the SITE gallery. That’s my main priority.

What motivates you to wake up every day?

Having to pay rent and stuff is probably my biggest one. Also, to do better for tomorrow. To try again. If the day before didn’t go well, just try again tomorrow, y’know? It’s like starting over.

Do you believe in life beyond Earth? If so, do you think aliens make art?

No. Not at all.

What are your thoughts on artificial intelligence? Would you attend a robot’s art show? Would you financially support art made by a robot?

I’m a fan. I think it could be cool. Of course once you get to the, “Oh they can kill people,” then it starts to get crazy. But there’s gotta be that phase at the beginning where they’re making AIs that are supposed to be your friends, before they jump to the robots that are like crazy, Terminator stuff. It’s not worth attending a robot’s art show because I think art is so related to supporting the actual artist. If there isn’t an artist there, what’s the point? Maybe I’d go if it was in town, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to go see it.

Photograph by Lid Madrid.

Rafa Rivas | Film, Video, New Media, & Animation, Art & Technology; BFA 2019

What are you looking forward to this summer?

I’m just about to finish a mixtape. And I already started working on my next sound project. I just finished a virtual reality project that I worked on at school for the last year and a half or so. And then, I also completed some face filters, so I’m excited about those too. I’m excited to release all this and then get heavier into 3D animation. 

What motivates you to wake up every day? 

In the simplest form, my goals and ambitions. The things that I want to get done and the things I know I have to get done. That’s what makes me wake up. I’ll work on a project until I pass out, and I’ll wake up and want to continue working on that. Sometimes there’s a little bit of frustration that I’ll go to sleep and not be able to finish that night. That’s something I’m learning — to take things a little bit slower.

Do you believe in life beyond Earth? If so, do you think aliens can make art?

For sure. Yeah. Even from a completely logical standpoint, the universe is infinite, it’s expanding, there’s billions of galaxies. There’s life everywhere. Art is the purest form of the soul and art is trying to communicate with other worlds that exist beyond this realm that we exist in. So I don’t think it’s fair to think about reality as a physical space. If you look at history, all art was talking about the beyond — life after death, God, the universe. Any species that you would consider intelligent creates art. If a species could be self-aware and be intelligent, it makes art. 

What are your thoughts on artificial intelligence? Would you attend a robot’s art show? Would you financially support art made by a robot?

AI can already make some kinds of art — graphic design, which is very pattern-oriented, especially. But beyond that, AI just wouldn’t be able to make it. Creativity is the last frontier that exists between humans and AI. For an AI to be a successful artist, it has to have a personality. Unique perspective gives you a personality. Almost any art that you make off of that, people will enjoy, cause it’s communicating a different perspective. I would support a fellow artist. But if it’s someone I don’t have a connection with, it’s just a robot making art, nah, I don’t really care for that.

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